After a brief period of massive commercial success, DC Comics's 2011 reboot -- their publishing initiative "The New 52" -- has been a punching bag for fans and critics for years. And now, an Earth that closely resembles it has been wiped from reality in the opening pages of today's Crisis on Infinite Earths 100-Page Giant #1 from writers Marv Wolfman and Marc Guggenheim and artists Tom Derenick and Tom Grummett. As the issue opens, Pariah appears on an Earth where a giant billboard in Metropolis's Heroes Square depicts the Justice League -- in what appears to be an alternate angle from the famous Justice League #1 image by Jim Lee.
In case there was any doubt that the parallel was intentional, the Earth he lands on is designated Earth-N52. On the comic's second page, it is wiped from existence.
It's an ignominious fate for a reality which was briefly the central continuity in DC's publishing line -- but it isn't much different than what has already happened to it. While it may not have been wiped away into a mist of antimatter in the comics proper, the DC Rebirth initiative back in 2016 effectively did away with a lot of what differentiated the New 52 reality from the post-Crisis on Infinite Earths, pre-Flashpoint Earth that preceded it. Rather than die an obvious, loud death, with its heroes consumed by the Anti-Monitor's scheme, it instead simply ceased to be, replaced by a more palatable reality for longtime readers who hated having their favorite characters done away with in the name of returning to a "classic" status quo.0comments
The "Crisis" TV event brings together the heroes from multiple Earths to battle against the Anti-Monitor (LaMonica Garrett), a godlike villain who threatens to destroy all reality. In the comics, the story ended with the deaths of The Flash and Supergirl, and the destruction of DC's multiverse, leading to a single Earth with a complex history packed with hundreds of heroes. The battle brings together together characters from all six of the current DC Comics adaptations on The CW (Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, DC's Legends of Tomorrow, Batwoman, and Black Lightning), along with characters and actors from Titans, the 1990 version of The Flash, the short-lived Birds of Prey, Smallville, Superman Returns, Tim Burton's Batman, and the iconic 1966 Batman series.
The first three episodes are available now, for free, on The CW app and CW Seed. "Crisis on Infinite Earths" will conclude on January 14.
Disclosure: ComicBook is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.